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LETTER TO ONTARIO COUNCIL OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS.

March 30, 2005

As leaders of a coalition of patients, professionals and researchers committed to the alleviation of pain, we were dismayed to hear of the situation in Ontario with the disciplining of Dr. Price for prescribing opiates. We are not privy to the proceedings of that decision and are not focusing on that particular decision, but we are expressing shock at the lack of concern about the 1200-1500 patients who have been receiving opioid therapy for pain and who now are left in a turmoil, both physically and emotionally. Our understanding of the role of the College is to protect patients. The manner in which this case was handled harmed patients. We both are nurses, one a pain patient who can no longer practice nursing, and we both took the Hippocratic oath as all physicians and other health care professionals do and we believe that the opening sentence, “First, do no harm”, has been violated.

On behalf of these particular patients, and as an example to all patients with pain, we ask that you find some way to see that these patients receive appropriate medical treatment for their pain

Celeste Johnston, RN DEd
James McGill Professor President,
McGillUniversitySchool of Nursing
Co-Chair, Canadian Pain Coalition

Helen Tupper, RN
Canadian Pain Coalition


Pain, Not Addiction, is the Silent Epidemic